Stories Matter

Photo ©2008 by Honou [CC-BY-SA-2.0]

2936937247_a44e91ca09_z.jpgWhere do stories come from? That was a question that I began thinking about months ago. During these months, my classmates and I were in the process of reading the book The House on Mango Street. The story of this novel was built up on a large series of stories from the narrator’s life. Each story was unique in their different way. I have written blog posts about this book before and like my peers, I have tried to find and build up an answer to my question. While reading this novel, I believed that there was no way I could answer my question, but after reading this novel and sitting down to think, I began trying to find answers.

A majority of the chapters in the story are stories that the author creates are most of the time random and have no definite significance. This led me to believe that my question was almost unanswerable if I used this novel. Watching a video one of my peers found online helped me change my opinion.

One of the quotes from this video was:

[A story] doesn’t have to be magnificent. Power is about lighting up dreams to action.

This quote made me think that there had to be some meaning that had to be in this book, even if there were no connections between all of these random stories. I hoped that finding some sort of meaning in this book, I could also find an answer to my question.

It literally took me 10 minutes after watching this video for me to find an answer to my question through this book. I took note of the topics of a large majority of the stories in the novel and realized that stories could come from anywhere. Each story was inspired from different topics, all diverse and different, yet they all had the purpose of building up the novel’s moral.

8717570390_f91fedffdd_mFor example, the very first chapter The House on Mango Street was written to tell the narrator’s first experience in her new home as a child. She saw how ugly and poor the building was and could not help, but complain about it. It was inspired by the narrator’s complaints and built up a sympathetic opening. This story was an opening of how most of the characters in this story were suffering in the neighborhood that they all lived in.

Photo ©2013 by David in Lisburn [CC-BY-SA-2.0]

 

The chapter My Name is one example of an important chapter in the novel. The narrator gets inspiration to tell this story from the origins and meaning of her name in her Mexican culture. She talks about how she hates her name and feels as if she has no control over her life by having this name.

untitled-copy-2The chapter No Speak English was written to talk about a female immigrant named Mamacita and her interactions with American people and her family. It was quite a sad story to talk about; it was inspired by the narrator’s observations about this immigrant who was one of her neighbors. The neighbor had a difficulty adjusting with the new land she and her family moved to and her unwillingness to learn English, leading to her being shunned by most of her neighbors and even her own children. 

15540553_1802994139970908_53733158_o
All of these stories had an origin whether they were notable or puny, showing that a story can come from anywhere. Even the first sentence of the final chapter gives this implication. Though they were usually unconnected and not sequential, most of these randomly inspired tales had a purpose that was built up to show readers how they should be thankful for what they have and think about how not many other people can enjoy things like they can.

This story helped me in finding an answer to my question on where do stories come from. The fact is that stories have no definite beginning because they can come from just about anywhere. The House on Mango Street demonstrates how even the simplest of stories can come from a large variety of places. Though it seems absurd, the art of story telling does not always need to be the same as any other story. The uniqueness of its origins makes a story interesting and how the story is built helps demonstrate a great purpose. Any book an author creates are inspired from whatever he loves and sees around him and it is his duty to make those sources of inspirations into vivid, enjoyable stories.

A Native Right

12079984245_b9de3e0046_z.jpg

Photo ©2014 by Tony Brooks [CC-BY-SA-2.0]

My class was recently given an article to read about an analyze for our homework. The article talks about how extreme responses to protests have been on a North Dakota oil pipeline. The oil pipeline was supposed to be built across the native land of the existing Standing Rock Tribe of the region. The protests of the Native Americans against the pipeline’s construction was met with harsh opposition by the local authorities. Hundreds of protesters have already been arrested and its sad to see that the people’s devotion to protecting their home being ignored. The article discusses how the local authorities are going as far as to call in riot squads to defend themselves from potential attacks. While I do admit that the protesters made a mistake in trying to use drones to survey the police squad, I do not think it was right for the cops to harshly attack the protesters for defending the rights of the Native Americans. With the Native American population declining, it’s hard for me to believe that there are people that don’t want to help preserve their existence.

The Crucible Movie

16928939391_34d3ceff0b_z.jpg

Photo ©2015 by Heath Alseike [CC-BY-SA-2.0]

For the past few days in class, we watched the 1996 movie adaptation of the book The Crucible, and it was quite an interesting movie to watch. The movie takes place during the Salem Witch Trials in Massachusetts. We can see in the story how superstition and delusions have destroyed the peace that once was in the town. Everyone truly believed that the devil walked among the townspeople and influenced some to do his bidding. These influenced people were marked as witches. The delusions of the people made them believe that many of their friends and neighbors were witches. It never mattered whether or not some people were there for years; if they were said to be a witch, then they had to be one. By the time many people saw that something was wrong with all of the claims, it was too late. At least 12 people died in the movie because everyone around them supported their deaths, and most did not realize the errors of their ways till the very end.

 

Problems Arise

photo-on-12-4-16-at-5-36-pm-22016 was not the best year for Samsung. With their phones exploding and other products malfunctioning, their businesses, sales, and stocks were declining. I possessed a Galaxy S7 about a few weeks after the devices released in March. It worked perfectly for months even after reports were made about the issues with Samsung’s products. Since most of the cases of malfunctioning phones were for the Galaxy S7 EDGE and Galaxy Note 7, I felt that my S7 would survive with me for years.  Unfortunately for me, I was wrong. About two weeks ago, I saw that phone kept restarting by itself when I set it aside or while I am using it. It also overheated quite often and sometimes shuts down completely and would not turn on for hours until I figured out how to forcibly reboot it. Initially, these issues occurred every few days and maybe only once in each of those days. I tolerated my phone for a while, until it started malfunctioning at least four times a day. The phone was essentially rendered useless. I was lucky enough that the warranty for my phone was one year, which has not passed yet, so I got a new warranty phone and received it just a few days ago. Up till now, none of my past issues have not arisen yet, and I really do hope that they don’t occur again for a while.

A Talk with my Dad

11695021_1601173720152952_2395733954131976713_nMy dad is like many other parents who look out for their children. He provides me with food everyday, drives me wherever I need to go, bought me lots of things I liked, etc. Dad knows a lot about me, but after being given an assignment in class to interview a family member, I realized that I did not know a lot about my dad when he was young. I took this as an opportunity to interview about my dad and discussing about this era of his life, and I learned how hard he had to live.

My dad was born in Vietnam. According to him, he had to take a lot of the major responsibilities in the household along with his dad due to being the oldest child of nine brothers. Living in his village was full of hardships and difficulties. The town did not really have proper streets and transportation, leading to him having to walk on dirty, sometimes even muddy, roads to get to school or other places. Living in a poor family, Dad had to help grandpa with a small family business of selling noodles to provide for themselves. Comparing myself to Dad, I realize that I actually have it easy living with him in my generation. I have no brothers to take care of. I live in a city that is somewhat organized and easy to live in and my parents have stable jobs with regular income. I feel sorry for my dad for what he had to live through as a child and am glad that he is living a happy life right now.